Profit Through Participation
Eclipse Users Group/UFO NewsletterJune 2010 Vol 310

President's Update
Larry McMullin, UFO President

The UFO has begun several new projects to assist our members. The enhancement committee is collaborating with Activant on a new tool that is designed to push more enhancements into production. The Chair of the enhancement committee, Terry Kin, will elaborate on this project at some point in the future. The web committee, chaired by Mike Prepelica, has begun the planning for a major update to our web site. He will keep you informed on the progress of this project through our newsletter. The UFO has already completed the project of converting the UFO computer system to a Linux computer and moving it to a safe and secure location in Austin, Texas.

The Board of Directors has directed Mary and Suzanne to begin the process of requesting members to dramatically expand their employee base in the UFO web site. We are requesting that you add additional user profiles that cover all aspects of your business. For example, add users for Accounts Receivable/Credit, Accounts Payable, Purchasing, Pricing, Warehouse, Systems or any other area you consider important. When entering a new user please be sure to enter their work area in the "Title" field on the "My Profile" page. I feel that this request is vitally important. The UFO will be able to communicate with many more users through our newsletter but, more importantly, we can take advantage of their valuable advice and recommendations. This will be even more critical as we move forward with our new enhancement tool as mentioned above. Please don't hesitate to contact Mary or Suzanne, if you need any assistance or more information.

New Look for UFO Web Page
User Tips
Editor's Note
Training Update
New Members
Texas Plumbing Supply, Houston, TX
Wave Electronics Inc,   Houston, TX
New Look Coming to the UFO Web Page
UFO Membership Site Web Committee Review

by Mike Prepelica, UFO Board Web Committee Chair, Revere Electric

As web committee chair I am excited to share some details about the web redesign project and progress so far. We have discussed a redesign for some time now. In 2009 Mary Barlow created a new marketing page outside of the existing web site due to the outdated architecture the current user site uses.

Today we are reviewing where all of the data elements are stored with Activant. It is a combination of static html pages and data stored within the actual Eclipse system programming. This has been the challenge all along. It's an old site with no documentation and the creators have long since moved on. I recently wrote an RFQ to solicit vendors to update the web site using current technologies and consistent organization. I included many suggestions for new items that users have submitted over the years. We plan to use existing Eclipse structure using the XML web integration companion product as well as continue use of bulletin boards for Eclipse user interactions. The two existing sites will be merged and have a consistent look and feel with the overall objective being ease of use.  

In the coming weeks the responses to the RFQ will be reviewed and a vendor selected to work with on the redesign. If all goes mostly according to plan I am hoping to have a new site to preview and publish towards the end of 2010. I am looking forward to my next web committee update where I can announce the pending release of the new Eclipse User's Group web site.

User Tips

Line Item Standard Comments

by Steve Lee, UFO Board, D&D Tool & Supply

Do you often find yourself typing the same line item comments on sales orders, purchase orders, and transfers, over and over and over again?

There is a much better way to accomplish this through "Line Item Standard Comments." You can insert as line item comments on the Body screen using the Comment/Standard Comments hot key (Alt C, Alt S and select from the list by arrowing down and hitting .)

You can attach to a specific line item by doing that while on that item, or attach to the whole order by making sure you are NOT on a specific line item. (Adding a comment from a blank line attaches it to the order as a whole, not to a specific line item on the order. An order-level comment prints on all sales documents with all order generations.)

To create standard comments, use the Line Item Standard Comments control record (F2/Files/Control Maintenance) 

I asked "all users" for common comments they are entering daily on sales orders, purchase orders and transfers. Do you need some ideas? Listed below are some of the 43 available in our system today. (This list has evolved over a number of years, adding or deleting as necessary.) 
Read Full Article
Tripped Up By Pricing
 by Jim Nelson, UFO Board Newsletter Chair/Editor, Mid-City Supply

I am writing this because of a control record that I did not fully understand and which caused some pricing problems for our company. We discovered pricing errors for customers that had a (bill-to / sell group) matrix that was a higher price than a (price class / sell group) matrix for a price class they belonged to. The best price flag was set to 'yes' in each matrix but the higher (bill-to / sell group) matrix was used, which is contrary to the pricing matrix hierarchy.

Research showed us that the control record 'best price check through matrix cells' was causing the problem. The setting of this control record might trip up clients that upgraded from release 7 to release 8. The documentation for this control record says that if the record is set to N, it checks the matrix cells according to the NORMAL pricing hierarchy. This is what we thought we wanted when we upgraded from release 7 to release 8, but actually the control record setting 'A' is what we should have been using to make the pricing hierarchy work like we were used to on release 7. The Eclipse documentation on this is a bit confusing. A lot of work had to go into finding and correcting prices that were incorrect.

It is a little unusual to have a matrix in which a bill-to (or ship-to) customer has a higher price than a price class matrix which also applies, but it can happen. Obviously there are good many parts to the Eclipse pricing structure and each user may have a different philosophy regarding pricing, but I want to point out this scenario as one you may want to test to see if you are getting the pricing result you expect. This article is not meant to be a definitive statement on how pricing should be set in Eclipse, but rather something you might want to confirm for yourself. Eclipse support should be your main source for answering any questions regarding pricing.

Executive Directors Training Update
by Mary E Barlow, Eclipse Users Group/UFO

We held our first Regional On-Site Roundtable of the year on May 5th-6th at Steiner Electric in Elk Grove, IL. The topics were Pricing and Sales Management, one day of each. We had great feedback from attendees:

"Interactive discussion was good, better than straight instructor led class.
Great session, great group of people, just the right size.
Good discussions among the group."
Our second Regional was held at Electrical Distributors in San Jose, CA on June 9th-10th. These two days were training classes on Report Writer/ Excel with Eclipse/Eclipse Reports and User Defined Screens/.Class Files/Adv-I-Descriptors. Again we had great feedback for the attendees:

"I just wanted to let the UFO know that the Two classes offered on June 9 and 10 at Electrical Distributors Co were very informative. I wanted to thank Zerion, the UFO and Electrical Distributors for allowing these classes to take place. It was a very pleasant learning environment. The teachers were highly informed and well organized. The space that the Electrical Distributors allowed us to use was conducive to learning. They were great hosts. Due to this pleasant experience, I plan to take further classes thru the UFO. Please pass on my thanks to everyone, as this experience was very constructive to learning."

These Regional On-Site sessions are being repeated throughout the UFO regions this year. The next RW/UD training is in Kitchener, ON at Spaenaur Inc. on August 25th-26th. The next Pricing/Sales Management roundtables are on September 22nd-23rd at Schaedler Yesco, in Harrisburg, PA. Please check out the class outlines and take advantage of these great UFO Regional On-Site sessions this year.


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